CULTURE WAR TRENCH WARFARE
In November, I wrote a column about same-sex marriage and how the very concept is completely incompatible with the Biblical and historic concept of marriage: one man, one woman united for life.
I pointed out that the push for same-sex marriage is in reality a push to abolish marriage as we know it. If same-sex marriage is permitted, the very heart of marriage is destroyed: that is, a union that under most circumstances produces children. “Marriage” under the new rules would be a legal union designed primarily for the sharing of health and tax benefits.
Now you have no doubt heard that the State Supreme Judiciary Court of the State of Massachusetts has ruled that there is no “rational basis” to restrict the benefits of marriage to straight (read: normal) people.
Are they crazy?
No, there are not crazy. But they assume that people like me (and most of you) are virtually crazy. We are blinded by the irrational “demands of religion.”
Let’s get a few things clear.
Our faith does demand male/female marriage as the only acceptable form. We see that in the Genesis account (see Gen. 1:26-27, 2:23-25). Although polygamy was commonly practiced in the ancient world, it is interesting to note that the first polygamist was a real jerk (see Gen. 4:16-24) and that Jesus affirmed monogamy as God’s ideal (Mark 10:1-9). Further, being a monogamist was affirmed by Paul as a qualification for leadership in God’s church (1 Timothy 3:2).
OK, so maybe you don’t believe in all that. (Yes, I know that this is a church newsletter, so 99% of you do; I’m speaking hypothetically now.) Are there rational, secular, non-religious reasons to affirm heterosexual marriage only?
As they say in Minnesota, you betcha. Here are some sane, sober, sensible reasons to oppose same-sex marriage and to uphold traditional marriage.
1. You don’t need marriage to make a commitment. Friends, relatives and organizations make commitments all the time without benefit of marriage.
2. Why should we overturn thousands of years of practice because of the demands of a handful? We’ve had thousands of years to experiment with marriage, and what we have works. Good marriage produces the best outcome in terms of the blessings bestowed on children as well as the man and woman involved.
3. The real benefits of marriage are found in family relations, not in legal benefits. The same-sex marriage argument says that benefits are denied such partners. By that, they refer to legal benefits: healthcare, inheritance, insurance and so forth. But in traditional marriage, the main benefit is relational and psychological: the warmth of parenthood, the companionship of marriage. Which benefits are more important? According to same-sex advocates, they have the latter; they want the former!
The real problem here is that redefining marriage in this way will change the very nature of marriage. Let me use the same illustration I suggested in my November column. If we allow same-sex marriage, what’s to stop two heterosexual women from “marrying” just so they can share medical benefits? Perhaps they make a pact to “marry” until one or both find a male partner. Then they divorce and marry a man. Sound crazy? It would be perfectly legal under the Massachusetts ruling.
Obviously, this would end marriage, as we know it. It would become an economic alliance, not a holy covenant.
4. Civil rights are not designed to benefit practices. The argument that the extension of marriage to same-sex partners is based on the idea that behaviors, not classes of people (ex. by race) are to be protected. This is a dramatic departure from historic practice.
5. What’s best for kids? A mom and a dad, that’s what. Same-sex marriage advocates say that any loving parenting combination is equally good for kids. Baloney! There are reams of research that confirm the experience of history: the best setting for kids is with a mom and a dad. It’s best psychologically, developmentally, emotionally and financially. Not two moms or two dads. It’s NOT the same.
6. We have many restrictions on marriage, and it’s a good thing. We don’t allow underage people to marry; we don’t allow close relatives to marry, you can’t marry your pet and you can’t marry a person of the same sex. These are all reasonable restrictions on who can marry.
7. It is a lie that civilization has had a wide variety of family configurations. Male-female unions have been the backbone of every civilization. No civilization has been built on an alternate form.
8. Same-sex marriage experiments in other counties have failed. In the Netherlands, the average same-sex marriage lasts 18 months. The average “married” gay man has 8 partners per year outside of his “marriage.” This is not marriage.
9. Finally, shouldn’t these decisions be made by the people—the people, not unelected judges? Name one state—just one—where in a free and open election the people would chose same-sex marriage. It wouldn’t happen in Massachusetts or California or New York. Why should such an important matter be in the hands of unaccountable judges?